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The Chris Matthews Show

News/Business. (2013) Journalists discuss using military force in the Middle East and the Hillary Clinton gay-marriage video. New. (CC) (Stereo)

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00:30:00

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G

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Clinton 6, America 5, Obama 4, Israel 4, Iraq 4, U.s. 4, Us 4, Iran 3, Roberts 3, The Iraq 2, Kathleen 2, Washington 2, Monte 1, United States 1, Kathleen Parker 1, Peggy 1, Einstein 1, John Boehner 1, George Bush 1, Carl Levin 1,
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  NBC    The Chris Matthews Show    News/Business.  (2013) Journalists discuss using military  
   force in the Middle East and the Hillary Clinton gay-marriage...  

    March 24, 2013
    4:30 - 5:00pm PDT  

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chris: david, that sounds pretty tough. you think of barack obama as we all know them. he was really there, he was against the iraq war. he was president because of that. >> make no mistake, this is a president that does not want to get into another war. as he looks at syria, he sees a slippery slope. he does not want to slide down it. he had to make those statements this week because he had had said that use of chemical weapons would be a red line. he never said what he would do about it. the one thing that you can be certain of, as obama looks at syria and iran, he wants to avoid any kind of entangling war, long expedition nature war like america has fought over the last 10 years. chris: these wars, if we go into iran, does anyone think it's a quick war, in and out, without historic repercussions on the other side? >> absolutely not, which is part of the reason why nobody within the -- there are very few people in the administration that have any sort of appetite for a war in iran.
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the same goes with syria. we saw with the libya entanglement, we saw sort of barack obama's doctrine. he is going to be looking for very much multinational-type force. he is going to the u.n. he is looking for the french to take a lot of the lead. he is going to be -- but nobody, even with both syria and with iran, there is no nobody particularly at the pentagon who is really wanting to do this right now. and barack obama least of all. chris: michael. >> chris, this poses problems, the perception which i think is accurate of our wearyness causes problems particularly in iran. people don't believe that this president really is willing to follow through on the use of force because they think that his head is still looking back at iraq. someone who spoke to him recently told me a few days ago that he has said about syria, words to the effect of "i know how i get in. tell me how i get out. i don't know how to get out." he is still thinking of what we
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got into unexpectedly in iraq, the unintended consequences of american action. it's a defining thing for him. chris: a sense of wisdom. let me ask you about this column. in terms of republican politics, and speak for that if you can, that they know that george w bush is basically identified completely with the iraq war. is the republican party that can speak for it, are they basically war averse now? >> i think they would hesitate to say, i'm a spokesperson for the republican party, but, yeah, i heard you say wariness. i think that's the better term. chris: wary rather than weary. >> wary rather than weary, republicans and people in had general are in favor of taking the steps that are essential, the quick strike. chris: are there such things that -- >> i was told that this was going to be a three-week exercise and here we are 10
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years later talking about the anniversary. the republicans have to be extremely careful. i thought peggy's article was fantastic. i wish i had written it. she made the point that the enterias are squander -- republicans have squandered trust. the war in iraq did damage the republican party for the longer term i think. chris: you interviewed ahmadinejad last september before the last presidential. he seemed unimpressed with the president's ultimatums. here is what he told you. "do you really believe that people of the united states support conflict?" this is ahmadinejad. "will this stop meddling and intervention in the affairs of others. if everyone comes to a mutual understanding, the expenses will significantly. he sounds reasonable there and what war costs? you're smiling.
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>> what is fascinating, the third time i have interviewed ahmadinejad was just how confident, almost cocky he was thinking that america, as we have been saying, a war weary country is not likely to attack iran. he was making these appeals very directly, the back breaking expenses of war, how little america wants to do this again. i fear that this overconfidence is shared by many top officials, especially the supreme leader. they just don't think we're going to do it, which sadly makes the chance that we would actually have to use force greater. chris: that's what i think. >> because they don't believe -- everything is on the table. they don't believe it. chris: you don't know where the propaganda begins. they know we're with israel, they know we're very sensitive, american politicians of breaking with israel. they know israel wants us to do something over there. how can he make the case in the propaganda which is true,
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actually, and say we're not willing to help israel and its concerns in self-defense in this regard? >> a lot of that is talk. when you're speaking with the iranian leaders, you get so much talk. i'm jealous of your interview with ahmadinejad. i also really wish that we could have interviews with rahimi. he is the supreme leader who is calling the shots in iran. he owns the nuclear portfolio. we're reading tea leaves and trying to figure out where his head is. david is completely right. i don't think rahimi believes that we would strike. who knows what this guy thinks. the administration itself is depending on envoys and depending on other people who they send back and forth. at this point we're sort of flying blind there. chris: does military support the idea of force in the region? the chair of the joint chiefs was grilled about his view of the mistakes made in the iraq war. here was his thoughtful answer
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to the u.s. senate. >> i have been scarred by rereading a quote from einstein who said "if you have an hour to save the world, spend 55 minutes of it understanding the problem and five minutes of it trying to solve it." i think sometimes, in particular, as a military culture we don't have a ratio right. chris: so that's the great question. >> that sound bite is very much a memory of iraq, going into a culture that we didn't understand and a warning that we need to be better prepared if we're going to go into something like this. other military leaders have issued similar warnings. robert gates thought we should take a close look at containment as an option. the president has now ruled out. against l spent time attacking iran. there is real warryness. when we consider what are the iranians thinking, rahimi i'm told has said to people, "i
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can't negotiate with the americans. my identity is based on the opposition to americans. our regime has called for america's destruction." in a weird way it's like john boehner's position, he can't do a deal with obama on the budget or the tea party throw him overboard. chris: before we get this here, can anyone think we can establish and hold in this country a policy of containment, have the weapons, warn not to use them? >> no. chris: the syrian question, do you get a sense that we're talking about under this president, barack obama, of using u.s. forces to do air strikes? are we that close? >> two key political figures in the senate this week called on the president to create a no fly zone over northern syria, carl levin, a democrat senator and senator john mccain. behind them are a growing number of people in the state department, in the administration. i think the principle opposition of that is the white house and
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the president himself. when you have drown a red line, if the evidence is clear that the syrians have used chemical weapons, he is going to have to act, chris. you shouldn't make any mistake. he has to act. he doesn't want to. he is afraid of getting drawn in. you need to watch very carefully what they say about the evidence. >> he drew that red line last year. he is not going to be able to -- he will completely lose -- chris: we're using the red line term a lot these days. >> he can put those to good use and get some public support back home. >> our leader of the democratic opposition to the iraq war resolution, very interesting. chris: so impressed, exactly. he is not a war hawk. as we have been saying iran's ahmadinejad may not be taking us seriously, the big question is whether we should take him seriously.
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was made famous in this movie. this ahmadinejad seems to take his own rhetoric seriously. >> i come before you today to kneels about the world before our great nation. e are two months away from enriching weapons grade uranium to be used for peaceful purposes. chris: the great model for movie portrayals of dictators was charlie chaplain's adolph hitler. this movie was made believe it or not, in 1940. ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ chris: message, a guy with a gun. when we come back, if you wanted hard evidence that hillary is running, you got it this week. plus "scoops and predictions" right from the notebooks of these top reporters. be right back.
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chris: welcome back. when hillary clinton made big news this week with her video endorsing same-sex marriage, clinton watchers out there put it side by side with another hillary video announcing her official candidacy for president back in 2007. here they are side by side. first from 2007. >> after six years of george bush, it is time to renew the promise of america. our basic bargain that no matter
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who you are or where you live, if you work hard and play by the rules, you can build a good life for yourself and your family. throughout our history as our nation has become even more dedicated to the protection of liberty and justice for all, more open to the contributions of all of our citizens, it has also become stronger. chris: and to some reporting, if she is running, there is a groove in washington called no limits. it's one organization that has been keeping hillary clinton's millions of supporters in touch building for a potential run. kathleen, here is what you right in the "washington post" this week, "i have asked a half dozen close clinton associates if she is running, they said the same thing, i have no idea. if this is true, hillary clinton doesn't really know, except she does know and her colleagues really do know." explain that. >> i'm working on a story about hillary's legacy as concerns women and children and talking
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to all of these close, close people. i asked each one, is she running, is she running? they say i have no idea. i have no idea. i'm thinking you have an idea. chris: why do you think they deny knowledge? >> i think they're deeply loyal. chris: they're not supposed to say it. >> they're holding back. hillary clinton has some work to do. she has to relax and let the dust settle. she has to catch up on her sleep. do all of the things we all they'd to do to get back in fighting shape. i would imagine she would rather the conversation wait. we have four years for the buzz to build. yeah, i think she is running. the last time on the show, i didn't think she would. i have changed my mind. chris: you have been away from the country working on your book. does the world look at her as the next president? >> the president of liberia was so determined that she wanted hillary clinton to sign a joint statement with liberia before she left office that she took a trip waiting for her to get better and took a trip straight
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here, 24-hour trip from liberia to make sure she got hillary clinton's signature. chris: is your cover ready? "time magazine"'s cover ready? when are you ready to drop it? >> on the cover of-time, it's a big seller. she maybe a bigger political celebrity than obama. chris: she is the future. >> people are fascinated by her life story, a successful woman in politics. it's a "people" magazine cover and a "time magazine" cover. chris: reporters knowing about what the spies are about to, and david, what are you hearing from your spies? >> i tell you what i'm hearing from my spies in team hillary. they tell me as they tell kathleen, no decision made yet, but an interesting fact, when she gave big dinners as secretary of state, in addition to all of the foreign policy personalities, there were always a few big donors who were sprinkled in and they won't forget it when it comes time in
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2015 to begin. chris: hosting a show from berlin, from germany, another event given at the state department with her supporters and the obama supporters was at the white house, you're right. >> she is good at keeping that large group of people who would support her campaign involved, interested, and potentially ready to go. chris: anybody think she is not running? that's it, you just heard it, when we come back, "scoops and [ boy 1 ] hey! that's the last crescent.
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chris: welcome back. david, tell me something i don't know. >> the united states has been secretly training syrian rebel forces in jordan, but there is one big problem. the syrian rebels don't want to leave syria to get the training, which means that to make this program work, it's a good program, the u.s. is going to have to go inside syria. chris: ok. >> wow, that's good. i can't top that. as you know, the g.o.p. has conducted an auto autopsy to try to figure out what happened in the last election. all they have done is successfully identified that they need more hispanics and otherwise kickoff the conservatives within the party. chris: how much did that cost to figure that out? >> you're going to give me grief about this. at the white house they are
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talking about barack obama taking a big trip to africa, this year or next year. there is a lot of debate about which country he picks. chris: i would love to go. >> the white house won't talk about it officially. the president has commissioned a speech on the targeted killing policies which is a source of controversy. personally, it won't change that much. it's an effort to have more transparency. chris: that's a tricky one on the left and right joining together. the big question of the week, when the supreme court takes up gay marriage this had comingwee opinion? be right back.
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chris: welcome back, the u.s. supreme court takes up gay marriage this week. the big question for us, with polls showing big jumps in public approval for gay
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marriage, will this court band to move with history or lag behind history? david. >> i would think looking at the roberts court that it's likely that it will come to a liberal result of endorsing at least some of the right to same-sex marriage through conservative arguments. there are various ways they can do that. they can say federal government has no business by mandating what a marriage is or there are libertarian ways they can argue it. i would be surprised if they didn't find a way to go through this without offending the growing number of people including republicans who think this is a right that people have. chris: kathleen. >> well, i think the court is more concerned about not appearing to be this elected legislative body when it comes to public opinion. there is a good chance that they will be able to, that same-sex
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marriage proponents will get a win without the court having to make big constitutional adjustments. chris: helene. >> i think in much of the same way that we have seen conservatives like bob portman, dick chaney come around on same-sex issues because they have people who are close to them who are gay. this isn't going to come out in the supreme court decision, but i think the court is moving in that direction as well. i think you're going to see them going -- chris: anthony kennedy is the tiebreaker on this. >> he is. in some cases involving gay rights in the past, he has been on the left side, he has taken more liberal position. gay right activists are hopeful he will blaze the trail and he can write the opinion and you can get justice roberts to join in. roberts is a pretty young guy for a supreme court justice. he is in the mid 50's. you see where this is headi in the polls under 30. what the gay rights activists are often saying is, this will come back to you justice roberts.
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you may find yourself reversing yourself if you don't take the liberal position right now. chris: that's what i like about this show. he has to make a long-term decision. he can't make one for this week. thanks for a great roundtable, david ignatius, kathleen parker, helene cooper, and michael crowley. i love that name. that's the show. thanks for watching. we'll see you back here next week.
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right now at 5:00, a father is in the hospital after he and
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his wife were shot while driving through the east bay. and secretary of state john kerry makes a stop in iraq. what he says the country's next step should be. >> announcer: nbc bay area news begins with breaking news. good evening. i'm diane dwyer. >> and i'm terry mcsweeney. an active search is underway in half moon bay for a man last seen at the beach. the coast guard says the 22-year-old man was playing football at roosevelt beach with friends when he disappeared. he went into the water after the football and they haven't seen him since. his shirt and shoes there on the wae beach. no trace of the man. the coast guard has called in its helicopter. we'll keep you posted on the search for that 22-year-old man off of half moon bay. in hayward, this afternoon, a family driving on a busy street ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time when shots were fired. the father in the car was hit and drove himself to the hospital. the shooting happened just a few hours ago at 2:40 this afternoon on tenson road. nbc bay area's monte francis is
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at the scene with more for us. hello, monte. what do you have? >> reporter: good evening. westbound tenson road reopened to traffic just about an hour ago, so traffic here is flowing again. we're still in the process of interviewing witnesses, but they have been able to piece together what happened. investigators say someone fired shots from a vehicle traveling westbound on tenson road and apparently was aiming for another vehicle or someone in the vicinity. this was at about 2:40 this afternoon. but police say the shots hit an unintended target. a car heading into opposite direction on tenson and driving that car was a man with his wife and child in the car. that man was injured in the shooting, but he's at st. rose hospital, where he's expected to survive. >> and it appears that the victim of the gunshot wound was a family member, a dad, driving with his wife and child, through the area to visit family. and was probably the unintended target of a drive-by shooting. we did